When James Clapper, the country’s top intelligence official, visited Capitol Hill this week to discuss the major threats facing America, he put cyberattacks at the top of the list.
The lengthy discussion of cybersecurity marked a change from testimony Clapper gave in 2012 and 2011. In his annual assessments of worldwide risks in the two previous years, digital threats were mentioned only briefly and were further down on the list of dangers. Cybersecurity is a top priority this year for President Obama, who was planning a meeting Wednesday in the White House Situation Room with business executives to discuss the issue. Concerns are growing about a potential attack that could cripple the nation’s infrastructure.
Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told a Senate panel that it would be “hard to overemphasize” the significance of the threat. Here are the three areas where the country is most vulnerable to a cyberattack:
- Electrical Grid
- Financial Institutions
- Government Services